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Virgin Mobile USA: 'Watch Our Ads, Earn Free Calls'

Virgin Mobile USA, one of the smaller networks in the U.S., is launching a new program that lets its users earn free calls for viewing and responding to ads on their phones. Each month, users can get up to 75 minutes of free calls per month if they look at and reply to ads in equal measure. Virgin Mobile USA, which is a joint venture between Sprint Nextel and UK-based media company Virgin, hopes the offer will appeal to its customers, the majority of whom (65 percent) are under 30. Such an offer will surely be taken up by its more cash-strapped customers, but widespread popularity will most likely be contingent on the ease of implementation for users. Details of the terms of Virgin's agreement with its first advertisers Pepsi, Microsoft's Xbox, and unit and truth, an anti-smoking campaign, were not disclosed. For example, a point-based rebate program might prove to be more trouble than it's worth, as cell phone calls are pretty darn cheap to begin with. If Virgin figures out how to automate the program, it could be a success.

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